Community volunteers help Noel Wien Library assemble boxes for upcoming renovation

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 10:33 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As the Noel Wien Library prepares for its 10-month closure during an upcoming renovation project, the community is stepping in to help out.

Volunteers came to the library on Monday, April 17 and worked two-hour shifts preparing thousands of boxes in the library auditorium for the packing up process.

The goal is to set up more than 7,000 boxes to store the library’s sizeable collection of books and materials.

During its first day of operation, around 40 volunteers gave their time to the effort. For some, this is their way of getting involved.

Volunteer Bonnie Gordon said, “We’re having a blast.”

“I think our community is super fortunate to have such a beautiful facility, and now it’s going to be more beautiful, so yeah, it’s my go-to place if I want just to find a peaceful place to read or something interesting to learn. I love it,” Gordon added.

Once the boxes are prepared, they’re sent out into the shelving areas, where staff are busy filling them up with books and other items.

Section by section, shelf by shelf, different color tape is used to designate different types of materials. The boxes are carefully labeled so the items can easily be re-shelved once the renovation is complete and Noel Wien reopens.

A central hub in a quiet room oversees operations, making sure everyone knows where they’re at in the process, what books have already been shelved, and providing extra materials.

Melissa Harter, Library Director, said of the volunteers, “The response has been phenomenal. It’s so heartwarming to see how people responded to this request of the community, and we’ve had almost all signups taken at this point, and people come in and they’re in the best frame of mind, and they’re just here to help us out, and it’s really, really fun. Families with kids, all sorts of people have come.”

More information about the Noel Wien Library renovation project can be found on the following website Noel Wien Renovation Information and FAQ’s.